Memorable take off to India

The characters in this story are NOT fictitious. They are people whom I know, however spread across the globe!

Vj Mac, Jai and Mony just cannot hold back their excitement! For their first vacation, they are going to India. Proud computer architects-in-the-making they are ...but all they could think of now is mom-cooked hot bajjis and puris

They queued up at Walmart and Kohls to pick chocolates and perfumes and T-Shirts for their parents and girl friends and relatives! One more day for take off – they are seen running up and down their tiny, untidy apartment in search of bags and suitcases to stuff in their extra baggage. Mony, from somewhere managed to find an age old bag, faded and whose handle is almost broken. 

But today, for all the three, anything and everything seems to be alright. Why??? …because they are going home - a place they are dying to get back to; but grew up wanting to leave!

At the airport, each of them stacked their bags one on top of the other and pushed the trolley counting down the number of hours left to reach home. Yeah... everything seems to be alright until the officer in black smart uniform asked turning to Mony, 
“Gentle man... something suspicious is spotted in your bag. Request you to open this reddish-yellow... no ornagish-yellow backpack of yours!” 

Mony mumbled to himself, “Did I keep my shaver or scissors in this? ...or am I not supposed hand carry my under garments? Huh?? What the hell does this idiot want to pull out?” 

The officer put his hand inside the bag and dug …to get the ‘suspicious’ thing exposed! The next moment he howled, grabbing the attention of everybody around. He shouted, “Anthrax... anthrax!!! I don’t believe... I just touched it! Oh Christ; Am I going to die?” His hand is covered with grey dust; poor fellow, in a minute got drenched in sweat! 

Our friend Mony is now experiencing the ‘Moment of Life’! 

He is surrounded by eight police officers, with their guns pointing right at his chest! Mony cried, “No no... this is not.. never Anthrax”. Trust me... I have not even seen that in my life. That is ‘bhasmam’. Kadavulai, Guruvayurappaa.. How do I make them understand?? Officer… you know, we Indians have this religious powder'!! So not to worry.. what u just touched is  our religious powder! The kind and understanding God in India will bless you! …n actually the bag is not mine, I borrowed it from one of my friends.”  

Turning to Vj, almost in tears he asked, “Allada Vijayaa…? Nee satyam parayada…” (Isn’t it Vj? Tell him the truth)

Vj and Jay are witnessing the play as if they were watching a dramatic Bollywood movie. Prankster Jay whispered in Vj’s ears, “Why don’t we add little more spice to the whole episode, to make our journey absolutely unforgettable?” He continued at Vj, “What will happen to Mony if we shout, Escape... there is a bomb too, in that terrorist’s bag!” 

Vj couldn’t help laughing, thinking the after effects if they had actually shouted that! While these two are found giggling, the rest every single soul at the airport stood frozen, waiting for the result. 

In a few minutes, there comes another officer. He shook hands with Mony and said, “May be next time, you should bring your ‘religious powder’ in a zip lock cover!!” “Guruvayoorappa… rakshichu…!!”, Mony murmured at himself! 

The three of them are delighted; right from the start of their vacation, things are turning out to be eventful..!

Cycle of Problems


The history of terrorism in the country was being re-written by a group of highly trained and provoked LeT terrorists from Pakistan, when the city of Mumbai was attacked. To kill nine of them and capture just one, it took 60 longs hours at the cost of 20 security personnel and 300 innocent lives! Is 20:10 a fair ratio?

The funerals are over, politicians have resigned, from the front page, news has started taking space in the inner pages.. from today it’s a fresh work week and people have started getting back to normalcy! Yet.. the truth remains the same: (sadly) we have lost the battle against terrorism! Slipup in the whole system?? Whatever the reason be, we were not able to foresee and hamper the terror attack. We are still not sure if there are any more terrorists walking in the streets of Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi or any other cities of India.

Not always Indian soldiers and encounter specialists become heroes! We wait for something like this to occur to acknowledge them. We become patriotic when we listen to “Jana Gana Mana” in “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham”, we become patriotic when we watch “Chak De India” or when India beat Pakistan in a cricket match. There is no shortage of patriotism in our country. But, do you know that there is a shortage of officers in the armed forces? Why?


Is the risk to life the only reason? No!!! We see thousands of youngsters line up for auditions to get selected for do-or-die reality shows. Youth of today are daring; at the same time very ambitious. The armed forces, unfortunately is not a desirable career choice for many; I would say low remuneration is the primary reason!!

I was shocked to find out the salary scheme of the army officers! The maximum salary of a Lieutenant is ONLY 10,000 rupees a month, while that of a Captian, Major, Colonel or Brigadier ranges from Rs 11500 to Rs 19,000! We are living in an era where a call center professional just after Class 12 easily earns Rs 15,000! Let me ask the same question, which every Indian asks, “Where is all our tax money going?”

The NSG (National Security Guard) has completed more than two decades in rendering momentous service to the nation. The commandoes go through vigorous period of training to equip themselves in situations of emergency. But, after all these they are made to guard politicians. Is that a necessity?! In India, security is provided to high-risk individuals depending on the threat perception to the person. Being placed in a category (which ranges from Z+ to X) is viewed as a status symbol by politicians, and many use their power to secure a Z+ security cover.

Only Prime Ministers, Presidents or former Prime Ministers deserve to avail the luxury of being guarded by SPG (Special Protection Group). If so, how do Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka fall in that category? When Mayawati moves around, she is escorted by an army of at least 350 policemen and an assortment of 34 vehicles! Her latest proposal is to have a helipad built right across the CM's house. However, submissive people in the country don’t blink an eye at spending millions on worthless politicians.

The government is inclined to function in a customary manner and modern equipments are often found only on paper. The lack of integral assets which is meant to possess rapid mobility for organizations like NSG is a major hitch, requiring prompt attention. At Taj, about hundred fire fighters were sent in.. with just two bullet proof jackets!!! Awful…!!! All this has been evident for ages now, but government shows interest in only those matters which will positively affect their ballot boxes.

Let me abruptly stop here, screaming at the accountable people: “Wake up….!!!!”

0

Once again, on a Wednesday!


Once again, India is attacked by terrorists.. but what is so new in this? We Indians are in the process of learning to live with it - in fear, disgust and shame!

Over the past few months, bomb attacks have hit India with a kind of grinding regularity. Hundreds of innocent people have lost their lives and many suffer from injuries even today. Once the news becomes stale, media goes in search of something hotter, poor victims are conveniently forgotten by everyone!


On this dreadful Wednesday, more than hundred people died, when Mumbai became the target of terrorists once again! Perhaps this time, the target was Mumbai’s iconic structure, The Taj, where apart from Indians, even foreigners became victims! At this time of worldwide economic crisis and defenselessness, Mumbai's charisma as a global destination could possibly be the motive of the attacks.

The militants have camped in Oberoi and Taj Hotels where faceless gunmen have held several hostages. Though the city had witnessed terror attacks in the past, this is the first time the militants have opened fire indiscriminately in crowded places like hotel and CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus).

The remorseless horror in Mumbai continues to the third day. Even now news channels show live visuals from Mumbai - visuals of fright, violence and unkindness; ..also courage, heroism, sacrifice and patience. I can continue to watch on only in mixed shock, horror, anger, anguish and hope.

So.. the obvious question - Who is behind the screen?

The “Indian Mujahideen” have made convincing claims of responsibility for most of the major attacks on civilians over the past two years. Now in Mumbai too, they are the suspects. According to initial intelligence reports, the terrorists who attacked Mumbai came by sea routes from Karachi (in Pakistan).

Indian police say the Indian Mujahideen is a derivative of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). But these local Muslims appear to have been given training and backing from militant groups in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In September this year, after a series of bomb explotion in a crowded market in New Delhi, Indian Mujahideen sent out e-mails to respective authorities, saying explosions was to prove its capability to smack the most protected city in the country.

City after city, month after month, it repeats – like a terrible nightmare! How are our politicians reacting to the terror drama? Like always, amongst them, the blame game continues! From the past, have they ever learnt a lesson?! Definitely.. "NO..!!"

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi blamed the UPA government and the PM for the cause of the attack. Meanwhile, the Congress reacted this way to Modi’s accuse, “The boats which were used to attack Mumbai came from Porbandar. So the Gujarat government is answerable and we have nothing to do about it”.

Is your blood not boiling?!!!! Grrr… Mine is..!!

Here is the list of major bomb blasts that occurred this year in the country.

November 26: Terrorist attack in Mumbai. Number of people killed – still unknown, it continues!
September 27: Blast in Delhi's Mehrauli flower market; 1 killed and 23 injured.
September 13: Serial blasts in Delhi killed at least 24 people and injured more than 100.
July 26: Serial blasts in Ahmedabad killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 100.
July 25: Nine explosions in Bangalore created terror, killing two people and injuring 12.
May: Eight serial blasts rock Jaipur in a span of 12 minutes leaving 65 dead and over 150 injured.
January 2008: Terrorist attack on CRPF camp in Rampur kills 8.

Tomorrow, it could be in your city.. the victim could be your dear ones or youself..!!

0

Determination, the ONLY Word!


Today, I am going to write about this girl, whom I would term as “Icon of Determination”. Yes.. none other than my dearest pal – Chimmu Susan Augustine! (I have already written about her in one of the earlier posts)

A brief history about “us”: We crossed our paths years ago, when we met each other in the hostel corridor in Mysore. From batchmates to opposite roomies to friends to best friends, our relationship grew.. to an expression beyond words!

Inspired by the spider, the Scottish king told his men, 'If you don't succeed the first time, try, try and try again'. I have come across this phrase while I was in school. But to me, it was just another sentence which, of course made little sense. But my friend has taken it to heart. In fact this single idiom is the whole of Bible for her.


The Indian civil service exam is a dream for thousands of youth across the country. For a handful, this dream becomes a reality, for very few it is partially fulfilled; but for the rest it remains an unfulfilled dream forever.

The path to becoming an IAS officer is never a bed of roses; it is full of ups and downs - totally a topsy turvy tunnel to pass through. Stretched over 18 months, this indisputably is a strong contestant to be the longest test in the world. The candidates are expected to master absolutely unrelated topics which ranges from geography to sociology to engineering to politics to history to what not??!!! If you bump into somebody who is learning these weird combinations, be sure he is a Civil Services aspirant!!

Chimmu was one of the most sensible students in college, quite matured above age. Yet.. at times she becomes the most pranky girl in hostel. While working with a reputed news channel in Kerala, she decided to chase her dreams. Then, she boldly she quit her job, packed her bags and started for Delhi for IAS coaching. Unaware of sun rise, sun set, winter and summer, she committed all her days towards preparing for the exam. She knows it is a very difficult nut to crack! So the results never could drain out the self confidence and determination in her.

In India.. at least in Kerala, how much ever we argue that girls are at par with boys, it is still a topic to debate! Here, when a girl at the age of 26 says she desires to try her luck with civil service examination (once again), people thinks she has gone crazy. Parents, relatives and friends do nothing to boost her spirits. She is compelled to compromise on her ambitions! They conclude, being a wife and in the process, having kids is the ultimate thing for a girl to achieve in life!

However, Chimmu is lucky to have a supportive family who stands by her all through her expedition. She dedicated one more year for studying.. and this time came out with flying colors! However, not just one; there are several mile stones to cross. Result for the 2nd round of exam is awaited.

Chimmu.. hats off to you! Become an IAS officer or don’t – that is not very important! You will move in life, like always.. as a TOUGH FIGHTER..!!

0

Pink, Yellow, Blue and White!


Only a Chinmayan knows what these colors represent. It opens the door to the pavement of memories, to those days of fun, excitement and laughter. November is the month for music, dance, drama, poetry, art, and what not??!!!! It is the month to keep calculus and organic chemistry aside and bring out every little talent hidden inside you!

Like any other school, we were also divided into four; we call it “house”! Yeah.. definitely it does justice cos hopes and aspirations were erected here, the floor of triumph and failure is school, our second home. The four houses were named “Hamsa Rag”, “Hamsa Geeth”, “Hamsa Dwani” and “Hamsa Nad” (names can be coupled to Indian classical music!).

The academic year begins with sticking chart papers in 4 colors (pink, yellow, blue and white) on the classroom wall, with names of respective members on them. The creators use all their creativity in laying down the names, to make it the most attractive! Even the badges we pinned on to our pocket or duppatta were in the “house” color!

When it comes to competition between houses, every Chinmayan swells to high spirit! Themes for tableau, fancy dress and mime are discussed, songs for western and Indian music are selected, costumes are designed, dialogues are mugged up and skit is rehearsed, bhajans are practiced again, National Anthem is repeated to perfection, contestants for quiz and JAM are chosen, group dance is choreographed; every homework is done with utmost concern! Walk around the corridor during practice sessions, one will only hear the sound of music - piano, drums, violin, guitar, tabala,… and Chinmayans!!

Those days are gone…
Of arguments.. but not deception,
Of competitions.. but never resentment.


I have crossed one more Children’s Week and Children’s Day in the calendar of my life! After school days, November is just another month; there is no amusement and delight, ...there is no reason to smile!

I learnt, I enjoyed,
I won, I lost,
I laughed, I cried,
I fought, I thought.
Those days are gone…


However, the fun I shared with my friends still echo in my ears, and memories like candle in the night!
2

Nostalgia


Far away from this smudged boisterous city; there is a land where I have spent my childhood. There are no multiplex theatres and you will not find vehicles stuck at traffic signals for hours together. Nobody fakes their accent and sit upright over night to work for people in other continents. It is a very small place, over looking the Arabian Sea!


To one corner of this little town, there is a three storied bungalow built years ago, much before I was born. This house, (which is now locked and covered by weeds) is the only existing thing that connects my memory to my great-grand mother, who once up on a time, lived there all alone! Extremely charming and beautiful; she is one of the most courageous women I ever knew - a wonder being to me, even today! Born to a rich father and married to a rich man, her life however was confined to the house and few acres of land surrounding it.

I still remember how it feels to touch the deep dimple on her right cheek as she chewed the betel leaves. She survived on them - betel leaves, hazel nut and a tiny iron crusher. Carefully she takes out a leaf, tear the edge, place it on one side of her forehead, applies the white paste (calcium carbonate!), insert crushed nuts, fold and then chews soothingly! Looking at her, I feel the red juice in her mouth contains all the joy on earth!

She seats herself by the side of a pillar in the long varanda, taking count of the people who pass by. During monsoon, trust me... there is no better place! It takes you to a completely different world. You could hear the pitter-patter on the slanting roof above. Sipping a cup of hot tea, lazily leaning against the pillar, gazing at the rain falling on the shrubs used to be my favorite evening activity (once upon a time!). The silence of the nature is broken only when people talk to each other. Other wise, you will hear only birds & water in the stream that flows crossing the courtyard of the house.

My grand mother passed away more than a decade ago. Today, why did I think of her and that house? Thoughts are now at a distance, yet crisp in recollection. Nostalgia is a momentary composition of disjointed memories; I seem to get reflective about lot of things I wasn’t so passionate about before. To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye to restore and render memories!



P.S: This small town however is no more “small”. It has struck newspapers and news channels big time! The recent discovery of links between national and international terrorist groups and their functioning in Kannur drives the point. I still cannot believe that people involved hail from this “small” town!
0

Solitude



I exist, curled up in the darkness of solitude…
… still; pondering my goals!

(picture captured at Nandi Hills, B'lore)

0

Mahabalipuram, Capital of Riches


India exhibits a vivid collection of splendid architecture, which unfurls the glorious episodes of Indian history. In its history of thousands of years, several dynasties who have ruled has contributed a lot to crafting architectural wonders that lie dispersed all over the Indian landscape.

The architectural exquisiteness in the monuments speaks volumes for the aesthetic sense and engineering skills the Indian civilization possess.
Temple architecture in the southern states of India is definitely an enduring charm for everyone!

Recently, I had been to Mahabalipuram, a beautiful town in Kancheepuran district.
It was a port city, ruled by Pallava Kings centuries ago. Though a small town, it makes us proud of the architectural wealth we inherited. The monuments are mostly carved and raised out of a single stone!


There were in fact seven glorious temples built near the sea shore. But this is the lone survivor. The shore temple has been listed among the world heritage sites of the UNESCO.


I wonder how this huge, interesting piece of rock stands on the slope! Amazing; but natural!This is called Krishna’s Butter Ball. The story says that Pallava kings even made elephants try to shift the boulder... but were not able to move an inch! Why did they even make an attempt, I question!!!


Hopefully, very soon I will visit another gorgeous city in India. :-)

0

Bye Bye Phoenix...


Lucky I am, to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard!
0

What Happens in Vegas!


I love Vegas for its grandeur…!!

I have not seen, heard or read about a city more magnificent than Vegas!

…but for a loser, Vegas is the meanest place on earth.
Pic: Las Vegas Strip, clicked from Eiffel Tower
0

Kerala: “Whose” own Country?

Kerala is not God’s own country! …and never it was! It is a country ruled by selfish parasites who are least interested in public welfare. A state of 29 million puppets who dance to the tunes of irresponsible and malicious politicians!   
          

            
People of the 'most-literate' state however work only for 2 weeks (or slightly more) a month. Rest of the days is forced holidays, which is meant for leisure at home. Are the people really fond or “hartals”? After all, it is an unexpected break from work in the middle of a week!!

What is “Hartal”?
When Bandh was banned by High Court of Kerala and later by Supreme Court, Hartal has taken the meaning of Bandh. Previously, it meant ‘only’ closure of shops.

The whole state comes to a pause on hartal. Children stay back at home playing cricket on the roads, factories switch off their machines, vehicles including 2 wheelers are off the road, shops remain closed, railway stations and bus stands get stranded, exams, meetings and interviews get postponed or cancelled! People are compelled to sit idle!

Somebody asked me,
“Why is there a hartal in Kerala today?”Shamefully I said, “..cos Saddam Hussain was sentenced to death”. Hartal continued the next day too, opposing the
US President's visit to India. Of all the states how is Kerala, linked to this? Don’t we have better things to be concerned about? Why is the government being such a big coward, rather acting spineless?

If two political parties’ clash (mostly over the most neglectful issue) and if someone is hurt or dead, why should the whole state be held to ransom? Statistics says government employees constitute 3% of the total working population and political party workers constitute only around 0.5%. How can such a narrow section torment rest of the public? In fact, the political leaders are taking away the citizen’s basic rights like freedom to work and freedom of movement. But hartal organizers are never pulled up for the crime!

The percentage of misfortune the strike has imposed to the nation is considered directly proportional to the success of the strike! Generally, a lot of home work is done by the workers to make it a success. Throwing stones at passengers, destroying vehicles and public properties, setting traps on the road, being rude at common man, mocking opposition, etc.. are the activities included in the show! Think of people who are in urgent need of trip, in a state where traveling is considered an offense on this “auspicious” day!


At the end of the day, are we gainers in any way?
“Yes.. Of course!!”

-- Prospective investors who went through the torture of hartals in Kerala chose to invest elsewhere!
-- A single day's closure costs the state an astounding 700 crore Rupees. 
-- Laborers are forced to sacrifice one day’s income for no reason, unlike government servants who enjoy the benefit of “eligible leaves”.
-- Common man, ‘once again’ has become an idiot!

The real recipients, if any, are the state-run liquor shops and the meat stalls which observe thunderous trade on pre-hartal days.

From January 2008 to June 2008, a total of 53 hartals were observed; ie out of 152 working days! Keralites have even witnessed total shut down on “Vishu” (astronomical
New Year’s Day) and even on January 1st! Ah.. What a way to begin a year!

…and we all grin and bear it; we still continue to do so!




Canyon Tour

The first picture of the Grand Canyon I saw, was in my Class 5 social studies text book. I was taught what a Canyon is, long long ago! While mugging up answers for the exams, never even I dreamt that one day in my life, I will really visit this wonder of the world!

“Ganga Miss”, my teacher, defined the canyon as a gorge, which is a deep valley between cliffs, often carved from the landscape by a river. It was so hard for me even to imagine a huge land mass being separated into two by a river. I used to visualize the river flowing near our house doing the same mischief to the adjacent land. ;-)

My first look out over the Grand Canyon is a sight which I will never forget in life! The first thing that gets you is, its big - really really big - as in huge, enormous and massive! It is also beautiful and gorgeous! Words can’t describe the colors, the shapes, the vastness. I stood and observed for hours, surprised… just staring! The sight of the canyon is never the same - even from day to day or hour to hour! Every passing cloud and every change in the position of the sun recasts the whole!
The Grand canyon sits on 1.2 million acres of land - a showcase of geological wealth. It was created by the Colorado river over a period of 17 million years! Nearly two billion years of the earth’s history have been exposed as the river and its tributaries cut their trenches through the layers of the rocks. It may not be the longest or deepest canyon in the world; but definitely, it is the grandest - truly a timeless treasure!!! To go down into the canyon is to go back in time, layer by layer. You, by contrast, are forever young!

But, what I do not understand is how water can have such an acute impact, considering that the Canyon is basically located in a desert. May be, the soil here is scorched by the sun and cannot absorb water. Any ways, let me not dig too deep to grab the roots of the Canyon cos I realize nothing is insignificant in nature - above all - nothing seems impossible.

2

Beyond Sadness..


I am angry at the whole world because death isn’t a fair thing in life. It disrupts the flow of happiness and comfort! The worst I believe, is when one realizes that he is sinking. The feeling can range from denial, to fear, to guilt, to anger, to sadness and to acceptance. May be that is when he tries to go back to the pages of yesterday and recollect all what he has gone through in life.

He would have been confused about the next world where he will be taken from here. He would have wondered if he will be able to watch his son grow up from far away! He would have prayed and begged before the Lord to protect his family. He would have remembered the days shared with his wife, son, mother, father, brothers, sister, nephews, nieces, friends, neighbors and relatives, ...and would have wished if it repeats all over again!! He would have thanked his near and dear ones with all his heart for the love, support and care. He would also have thought and felt sorry for the mistakes done in the past.


I remember reading this somewhere - That loosing life is almost like being at the beach, standing in the water on a windy day. A wave comes at you and almost knocks you off your feet. You struggle and regain your balance, just in time for the next wave to hit. Over time, the strength of the waves subside and you think your footing is little more secure. Suddenly, out of seemingly no where another large wave hits and you almost loose your balance again.

Almost everyone goes through periods of anger, disapproval and grief after someone they love passes away. We become painfully aware of how fragile life can be, and the reality of death is clearer than ever. We will be worried about the void created in the family with his loss and the unexpected changes that it would bring in. But you should accept that the world isn’t out to get you, and that death did not happen to make you miserable… it just happened, obeying the law of nature or time.

Life is pleasant; death is peaceful and it's the transition that's troublesome. Although death is natural and will happen to all of us someday, being obsessed with and worrying about it can keep us away from the thing we are trying to hold on to - LIFE.

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold, well.

18

Sigma Gama Beta..!!!


I opened my mail box and picked this wedding invitation which read “Biju Mon weds Biju Mol”. I starred at it for a sec, re-read and burst out laughing. Hahaa.. What a perfect match, if the last alphabet is ignored, two people with the same names are getting married!

How did Biju Mon’s mom pick this name? Perhaps she was given a few alphabets, out of which she was asked to pick just four. Luckily she picked a vowel; else it would have been even more hilarious..!! May be the same theory applies to my friends Siby & Jijesh & Shijeesh & Lipil and and and and...

You are given the liberty to choose and not to choose a lot of things in life; but not a name for yourself - one of the few instances in life where you are not given an option (of course, until you take pains to change the original).

I wonder why people make up really weird names and spellings and saddle their children for life? May be parents think they are being creative and unique. But, for the child, all it is a life long sentence of correcting people of the pronunciation of their name and having their names always being misspelled. Like my friend Nigil corrects every second person he gets introduced to, "It is 'ni' as in Nycil power and not 'ni' as in pneumonia!" 


Now, here are few of my friends who have very talented parents.

Sigma, my best friend is very interesting, yeah...just like her name - extremely peculiar too :) When ever I talk about Sigma, I tell them.. “By the way.. do you know her sisters’ names are Sismi and Sayoomi and her dog (who is now dead) was called Simba!!” Can I blame this person who asked her once, “Oh.. Are your parents from Greece?" Seniors enjoy asking the same question everyday to her sister, “Sismi.. will you kiss me?!”

When I met this girl in the hostel corridor for the first time, we shook hands while she introduced herself, “I am Chimmu”. Seeing my face crumble at her name, she said with a smile, “My dad was innovative that he named me Chimmu, so that it rhymes well with my sister Ammu..!!" When everybody turned their backs, I slowly murmured, “Meaw…!!” and chuckled to myself.

The method followed to name my cousin is fascinating. The first two alphabets from the names of mom and dad were picked, assembled and they passionately called her, “Ragi.. you are our baby!” Ragi, however is extremely proud of her name. Cuckoo - another friend of mine with a very special name. Don't know if she is named after the bird or after the famous english clock!! And her sister is Kitty. I tried to investigate the roots of the origin.. but reached nowhere. I still cannot believe somebody will name their own children like they naming parrots and kittens.

I know what “shy” means in English and “mol” is a mallu word. How could somebody even think of combining two conflicting words from two different languages and form a name out of it! After all, you are naming your own daughter! That's how Shymol 
was born.

The most unbelievable names I have heard so far are of three sisters – Bulby, Switchy and Pluggy. When I heard the names first, I fell off the chair and asked in distrust, “Who works for the electricity department? Mom or dad or grand dad?”

If few of the above naming formulas were applied, Rajiv Gandhi would have called Rahul and Priyanka, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha :)


Do you also want to share the names of your friends you think are out-of-the-world?
0

Who is World’s Beloved Clown?

The only task awaiting execution was to bid good bye to friends and relatives. Most of them said.. “Convey our regards to Mr. Bush”. One of my uncles said, “Yeah.. If you happen to bump into Bush, just tell him that we are doing fine and are eating just what we need!”

It’s been over 10 days since I reached here. Interestingly, there are countless restaurants around the community we live in. You name a cuisine; you have it somewhere close by! The first one we tried was “Pita Jungle”, a Greek restaurant. It is an amazing place, artistically lighted and brilliantly furnished. The unique brush strokes inside huge frames on the wall added elegance to the entire room. The ambience itself is extremely inviting. I thanked our friends for picking the spot who helped us place the order too. I was specific about just one thing – “No cheese please!” I knew it was like asking for a masala dosa without the masala!

Sudhir “americanized” my requirement and said, “Light on cheese please..!” While eagerly waiting for the food, I keenly monitored the place and the fellow guests. All of them were eating in huge bowls. In India, we would call it triple-extra-large (I doubt if we have that size at all!) I remembered the tiny container at my fav dosa hut in B’lore which served just 2 spoons of chutney. Pointing at the white lady who sat at the opposite table, I asked, “Is she having only for tonight or does that include break fast and lunch for tomorrow as well?!” I told myself, "Poor thing.. Will she ever get to see a two digit number on the weighing machine?!"

There comes our food - not in a plate, not in a bowl.. but in a drum! Water was served not in a glass; but in a tank. My eyes literally popped out! Are they not aware of the concept called “small”? I, being somebody who lives on lays, pringles, biscuits and once in a while little 'ordinary' food, struggled to empty the drum of mixed vegetables treated in number of sauces and other things whose names I’m ignorant about. However, wasting was the last thing I wanted to do!

Except us, everybody in the restaurant was perfectly comfortable with the quantity served. In fact they even went for second helping, followed by deserts and drinks! Thankfully my worries did not reflect on my face; else I would have spoiled our first outing! After all, we only started exploring and definitely it's all part of having fun!!

While we drove back home, I warned them not to crack any more jokes as I found it difficult to even laugh. My tummy experienced an unusual immensity. Once again, George Bush was our topic of discussion. We shared our views on his contention that growing demand for food grains in India was the reason for spiraling global food prices.

Bush said there were 350 million people in India who are classified as middle class. "Their middle class is larger than the entire population of America. When you start getting wealthy, you demand better nutrition and better food, and as demand goes high, the price too go up," he said shamelessly.


Is that not a cruel joke?

In fact, the policies of USA were also responsible for food grain shortage. How could George Bush criticize others when Americans themselves set apart agricultural land for other purposes? But I feel a sensible person should not react to such idiotic comments. Before making a fool out of himself before the whole world, his secretary at least should have found some time to find out the latest statistics on related topics.

I tried to be a Roman while in Rome by not criticizing, but trust me, it’s extremely difficult. On which ever side of the globe I’m, a little bit of me always remain in myself!

That is when I decided to drain my frustration out by penning down few lines on what I feel about world’s beloved clown!
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Music: Eternal Universal Language



Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music!!

(remembering my teachers & 'Kalamandir')

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East or West, India is the Best! (Seriously!!)

This morning, I came across a very interesting quote. And perhaps it could be true!!!

Said Thomas Friedman,

When we were young kids growing up in America, we were told to eat our vegetables at dinner and not leave them. Mothers said, “Think of the starving children in India and finish dinner soon."

And now I tell my children: "Finish your homework soon. Think of the children in India, who would make you starve, if you don't."



At least once in a while, don’t you feel proud to be an Indian?

Today is not 15th August or 2nd October.. India did not win any cricket match and nobody spoke about Pakistan! Yet, I feel very patriotic! Believe me, it’s an amazing feeling!

*Thomas Lauren Friedman is an American journalist. He is an op-ed contributor to The New York Times, who writes on foreign affairs.

Mesmerising Number 7

I have always wondered how numbers play a very important role in our lives. We have always feared about marks, rank, money, KRA target, etc… All of them come in figures! Everything on earth is countable – directly or indirectly, which ranges from zero to half to 10 to 100 to million to infinity.

Of all the numbers, why is no 7 very important to Indians? (Apart from it keeps 6 and 8 from falling over!!) Sunday to Saturday is 7 days; the globe is made of 7 continents; rainbow consists of 7 colors; 7 notes make the most melodious song and if I talk like a techie, OSI model consists of 7 layers!

Now, let me have a table of my own 7s!


I love
1) My family & being I
2) Being in love
3) Sandals!
4) Travel
5) Movies
6) Getting pranky with friends
7) Green Lays

Things I want to do before I die

1) Make a film about which people will talk even in the centuries to come :-)
2) Be a cause to educate less-privileged children
3) Learn driving (for me, it’s not silly!)
4) Chat with Abdul Kalam
5) Read and understand entire Mahabharat
6) Have a signature in profession.
7) Get into my old pair of jeans (i donot want to reveal the size!)


I can’t stand
1) Attitude
2) Taste and smell of ghee
3) Boring people / Boring lecture
4) Back-biting
5) Blood shed (not even on TV)
6) Greed
7) ‘That’ girl who made July 2003 miserable for all of us :-(

I will never forget
1) The first day I met Vj
2) “Is this your ancestor’s property?” asked by our vice- principal in school
3) The week after my great-granny passed away
4) The musical get-together with cousins
5) The aroma of the yellow curry grand mom used to cook
6) My dance master
7) My first visit to a pub

Wish if I could
1) Slap George Bush
2) Slaughter all dirty politicians who stop us advance in life
3) “Unlock” Bangalore traffic
4) Sing like Chitra
5) Become popular by solving mysteries
6) Go to and fro with time
7) Meet all the people whom I adore


Hmm...!!! So, what is no 7's role in your life?!

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Encounter With “Angry Tom”


Throughout the day, I have been goofing up things! Yeah.., I did my prayers before the day woke me up; but I guess Mr. God had gone for his cup of coffee while I said Good Morning!

First thing, I locked Vijay in the house while I stepped out. Wonder how I forgot that he was still sleeping inside. Poor thing; he had no choice but to bother our neighbor to get out of the house.

After reaching office, I realized that I left my notepad at home. …n I would be limbless without it because the entire day’s work schedule was jotted down in that book. I mocked myself for not using outlook wisely. Anyways, I’m lucky that I stay close by. I troubled my colleague friend for a pick and drop! Other wise, my bad temper would have compelled me to curse all the careless BMTC bus drivers and tricky auto wallas on road. Not to forget the great planners of Bangalore, for raising fly-overs with signals and incomplete pillars and alien structures all across the city.

However, I was trapped in the most embarrassing situation later in the evening. After work, we were in one of the shopping malls as I was in no mood to enter the lab (kitchen) and carry out culinary experiments for dinner. So, the best option was the nearest food court and for desert, window shopping!

We were in eZone to check out if the price of our dream Plasma TV has come down! Very seriously, we enquired about picture quality in pixels, price comparison with all brands, offers, discounts, etc..!! Hee… The guy doesn’t know that we were doing the same thing for the nth no of time! Seeing our enthusiasm, he would have felt that we would pick the TV the very same day…!! After a while I got bored and I diverted my attention to other products – from mobile phones to music systems to even hair driers!

That is when I observed this person; not because he was a handsome hunk; but because he wore a peppy blue colored T-shirt. I told myself, “What an amazing color for a guy to choose to wear! Even pink would suit him well”. I also observed fancy buttons on his shirt, which made me wonder if he borrowed it from his mother or sister. “Not a bad joke”, I laughed and told myself! Swear, I’m not being cynical. I’m sure you would take it in the right spirit! :-)

Hey… Now this guy smiled at me. “Shit..!” I murmured. It was so mean of me to make fun of a colleague. I walked up to him to say a “Hi” and in the process introduce myself. “Hello”, I said with the best of my smiles. To initiate a conversation, I asked,
“Are you here for window shopping like me, or have u picked anything?”
“NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!” he replied.

“Are you not an SRITian?” I tried hard to make sure that the pleasing smile was still pasted flat on my face.

A big fat “NO”, he yelled, rolling his eyes at poor me!

I looked around to make sure that Vijay is not watching me drown in the soup!

“Okie, Bye.. Oh, By the way.. I'm Sorry, Take Care, Good night” I said and escaped before he could open his mouth.

Like Jerry does to Tom, I felt like punching his nose until it blew up to a size of a balloon. Also, I wanted to tie both his hands and legs to a dining table and tickle him with a crow’s feather. Why the hell did I feel that he smiled at me? I doubt if he did that ever in his life. And why the hell did I feel that he sits in the next bay in office? Oh God…! Not at all my day!

“Enough of roaming around!” I told Vijay. “Let’s push off home soon and hit the bed before I come across the next disaster".

I went to bed reminding Mr. God to teach Mr. Tom how to smile. Also, I filed a complaint, “Grrr... so rude of you. Okiee.. , I made fun of him. But it was just between you and me. Yet, u locked me in such a thwarting affair”.

“Hahahaa….” Huh?? Did I hear him giggle at me?

It was Vijay speaking to his friend on the phone.


When Your Stomach Cries…


Let me brush my memory and begin right from the start of ‘that’ day.

Like any other day, I was still under my cozy blanket in my hostel room at 7:30 in the morning. My room mates never take trouble to wake me up before that because they know I would turn violent. I heaved myself down the bed, by then it was very late and I knew I had no time for break fast. Plus, I heard my friends talking about upma and the raw banana served in the mess hall. “Oh God.. Why would they never progress in life?” I asked myself furiously and dressed to college thinking of eating later during the day.

It turned out to be very hectic; this or the other reason interrupted throughout the day.. and till I left college in the evening, I did not get to drink even a cup of coffee. I hurried to the mess hall but was flustered to see the place being cleaned up and tea time was over long time back. I could not think of anything else other than food..! At least for those couple of hours I was living only to eat.

As soon as I entered my room, I saw my roomie taking the last bite of a biscuit; and on the floor was lying an empty packet of Nilgiris bread. Cannot blame them, because they know how much I dislike bread. And at that point of time, except God and me, none other on earth knew the intensity of my hunger.

Taking my friend along, I rushed down the stairs to buy something from the next shop. But we had to stop ourselves before the big black hostel gate. I went through the emotions of a prisoner behind the bars who is denied of living a life following his aspirations. Once closed for the day, it’s next to impossible to convince the warden to let us out, however crucial the reason be! My friend said, “Just an hour more.. we will compensate for the entire day by having an elaborate dinner! It was Wednesday and I knew I would get my favorite aloo fry.

That particular evening, the clock ticked very slowly! I do not want to remind myself what happened afterwards. The menu was changed, instead of aloo, it was some non-vegetarian curry (which I do not eat) and there was nothing left from the lunch menu. All I got was some potato chips and little sour curd with chilled rice. I could not control my misery beyond that, tears started running down my cheeks. My friends were also equally helpless because there was nothing they could do at that time of the night. Finally I got to eat a banana! That was the feeling of being in heaven - when the banana touched my taste buds!

None other than I am to be blamed, I know very well. It was a well deserved punishment. Lot of times, my mom was after me with food. When she prepares dosa, I would feel like having idli, if it was sambar, I would rather prefer rasam and if it was chapatti for dinner, I would want puri. I used to be so terrible at home.


The day’s experience taught me the value of even a small piece of bread. I could hear the wail of hunger, which is one of the most unbearable pains one could go through. Even after 60 years of Independence, India still has the world's largest number of poor people. More than a quarter of its population is below poverty line. But I, unlike the children deprived of food, ate lavishly the next day. What ever happened was just a day’s occurrence. I thanked God more than a million times for making me and my dear ones very fortunate.

Let us care for every crying tiny stomach, at least by not wasting food. From today, you and I will not dump anything from the plate into the bin; let that be a promise between us!

pongal feast @ home

Room no 69, St Philomena’s College

"Joseph, how are you here?" I asked disbelievingly. It was a pleasant surprise to see my classmate in college at my new office. At least one familiar face; I thanked God for bumping into him. This guy, unlike me, used to be a first bencher! So definitely he was in the good books of most teachers.

Let me share this incident that happened when I was in the final year of my graduation. To me, Room no 69 was not an interesting place during class hours. Simply because it was my classroom. Even now I cannot believe that I had the patience to sit through hours of Math classes.

One afternoon, when the teacher found the entire class restless, she gave this million-dollar offer, “I will be glad to teach only those who are really interested. Others may step out and need not worry about attendance.” I just couldn’t believe my ears and was thrilled. I even decided that I’m going to have a gulab jamun from the college canteen after leaving the class. I chuckled to myself and immediately closed my book, got up and walked out of the row of benches. I expected girls sitting behind me and many boys do the same. But it was a shock to know that nobody else made use of the offer, not even the brats among boys.

I couldn’t make up my mind – whether to get back to my seat, open my book and pretend as if I’m solving math problems or to just get out! However, the teacher showed me the way towards the door before I could decide. How embarrassing!

I walked out all alone with guilt and shame, cursing my friends who ditched me. As soon as I reached the canteen, I took a deep breadth and shouted, “Santosh Etta, oru gulab jamun poratte”!!!

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Hatred is Not a Family Value


Love is blind, I have heard. But life has taught me that hatred is worse; it is a sightlessness that tears one apart without being killed.

I just cannot get this rid off my mind. Last night I was informed about the demise of somebody whom I know since childhood. She was a person whom I used to see almost daily till 6 years back. However, our acquaintance was limited to a smile whenever our eyes met. I could get some sleep only hours later, though I went to bed early. God..!! Is that fair to wipe away a life from earth so easily? Did you not remind yourself that her children still need a pillar to lean on?

Her husband too passed away few months back, leaving behind their children unaccompanied in this crowded world. Both of them are still in their teens; long way to move ahead in life!

It is in these situations that we value relationships. Unfortunate children; circumstances do not seem to favor them. Parents were involved in a love marriage, opposing the family. But, is that their mistake? Are we living in such a horrendous planet where even death cannot get over hatred?

I do not know if the souls need prayers, but certainly, children need love!


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“I Don’t Like Comedy”, says Sreenivasan



Sreenivasan has an eerie talent of keeping himself the favorite of all. He is one of the most talented actors and scriptwriters in Malayalam cinema. Many of his movies depict problems affecting Kerala, which are rendered in a humorous manner. Excellent characterization, most ironic dialogues and self-disparaging wit are signature of Sreenivasan movies. Ask about his silver screen attraction; it is the lack of star appeal..!
His latest film "Katha Parayumbol", says it all! The film has Mammootty in a glamorous role; but it is Sreenivasan who made an imprint in the viewers' mind. His is the role of a barber in a small village, struggling against innovation in his own obsolete ways. The film has now become the talk of the town because it has been decided to be remade into Hindi and Tamil, starring King Khan and Rajnikanth respectively.
I was lucky enough to spend some time with this gifted actor.. However, that was long time back! Let me share the discussion we had through this post!
Will u be surprised if an actor like Sreenivasan says, “I don’t like comedy”? Laughter is the best pill for tension, but incomplete without the humor of Sreenivasan in Malayalam Cinema. When did Sreenivasan win the hearts? Perhaps it was after they saw him in “Chinthavishtayaaya Syamala”, where he describes a person who loves to escape from responsibilities. Or, it might be two decades before when they saw him as Vijayan in “Nadodikkatu”. Now he is getting thumbs up sign from all around.

“Chinthavishtayaaya Syamala”, was made in memory of his history professor who used to insist on doing a work that gives one the most pleasure. Professor mentions that a person should have a goal to achieve in life and should concentrate on achieving that. “If you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day”, says Sreeni. It was his teacher who had set a goal for Sreenivasan.


He, Him and Only His:

The versatile actor has acted in more than 150 films, also has scripted close to 45 films and has directed two. Some of his films have won State and National awards under different categories.

He had a great passion for acting since his early college days. He took active part in scripting for many plays in which he acted himself. He has won ‘Best Actor’ award many a time at University level, while in college. During this journey, he realized that his happiness lied in making others happy and the inborn talent in him greeted him to the Malayalam film world.

His favorite pass time is reading, considers books as his best friends. A book represents different things to different people. Books not only teaches one how to face life; but also portrays the thoughts of many writers. He gets inspired by the writings and thinking of great personalities.

Movies and Him:

There is no formula as such to make a movie a commercial success. He believes that each movie is an experiment. A good script is a fundamental element contributing to the success of a film. Instead of giving importance to get better scripts, obsession with star value has reduced the significance of the script in a film. He says in India, the quality of the script is not taken into consideration; they emphasize more on shooting.

In between the conversation, he coolly said, “I don’t like comedy”. I was shocked. I looked at him disbelievingly. He quickly added, “I like only humor”. When I asked him the difference between the two, he chuckled and answered, “A comedian in a film is like a buffoon in a circus. Making people laugh is an art”.

It is his style to make fun of his own looks and appearances through his movies; thus mocking those having an inferiority complex and tries to give them confidence. It is very important to know the psychology of the audience, to keep them entertained for two and half hours. Film makers should decide what the audience should enjoy and not vice-versa. Today, the audience wants variety and that is where Indian films lags.

He has included his personal experiences in many of his films, like “Varavelppu”, where he tells the bitter experiences of his dad and “Udayanaanu Tharam” brings out his own experiences in the field. He himself is his role model since he has stood by his own principles and policies.

We want more from this man, hope we haven’t yet seen Sreenivasan at his best! Looking forward to that, Sreeni! Cheers!!

(excerpts from the interview with Sreenivasan - college project, 2005)



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Email – Always a Boon?

“Email” – a word familiar even to a 2 years old kid! In technical terms, it can be defined as a more up-to-date method of transmitting data, text files, digital photos, and audio and video files from one computer to another over the internet. Yes, we know the advantages - Email has changed the way we do business. It has an edge over other methods of communication. Critical decisions are made in minutes. Compared to telephone calls or faxes it is less expensive.
I’m not here to talk of the pros and cons of emails!

I guess while sending mails, at times people forget that the content in their mail reflect their conduct and character. How one addresses another, tone in the writing style, language, and subject – all of these give a first hand impression about the sender.

I live in a residential community where there are about 400 families! A forum to exchange views, questions and answers is very important in such an environment. From deciding festival celebrations to tackling resident issues, the community makes use of the group mail. Hats off to technology!! But.. some days, when I feel little low at work, instead of opening my favorite Calvin and Hobbes page, I open my community mail (Not an exaggeration)..! People have started exploiting even this! They make use of this to take their personal retaliation. Have they forgotten that the entire community is reading each alphabet what they have typed? Don’t people recheck if the mail makes sense to the recipient?

"quit the circus company” (referring to management committee).
"can you advice me the nearest shop where I can get a bucket and a mug?”
"when my car is in the garage, how do I get to electronic city easily from home?”
“batted breath to your piecemeal mufat ka gyaan”.

I have not seen any of them who send mails to the group. However, many names are familiar to me and I try to associate them with these ‘quotable quotes”. On a Friday evening, while having get-together with friends, we have something more to talk about other than film reviews.

At the same time, I cannot stop without saying “Cheers” to those who take their valuable time to help their neighbors resolve their troubles to make home, really a SWEET home!


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A Religion that Unites the Nation – Cricket


Cricket is not merely a bat and a ball game, it is not about just winning or loosing; in India it is a religion that unites people, barring disparities in social status, caste, creed or culture. Cricket in our country has always been excused from the infection of religious conviction. Hindu-Muslim, Bengali-Punjabi-Gujrati-Malayalee, men-women, rich-poor - a vogue flanking on passion unites the nation when it comes to cricket.

The country comes to a halt when a cricket match is
being played - the roads are deserted, parties are postponed, meetings are rescheduled, students go to the extent of even bunking exams!
Why does the game of cricket drive a billion people into a state of helm?

The eleven players become the topic of discussion at dining tables and cafeterias in office. People whom we have never seen in life – we talk of their style, their likes and dislikes, their family, even about their girl friends and other obsessions. In India, cricketers make news even when they sneeze!

Suddenly there's too much happening in the game of cricket. But nothing to cheer about - it is not all about the game. Sledging, wrong umpiring decisions, and racism - the list seems to be getting longer day by day. Millions across the country have been fastened to televisions watching India play Australia. But what they watched is not just cricket! Australian player Andrew Symonds accused Harbhajan Singh of racism. From media offices to people on the streets, everybody believes that the Indian player has been mortally victimized. Indians were disgusted by ICC’s double standards. The issue found its way into parliament, with members describing the incident as disrespect to India's national dignity.

The support that Team India got has been tremendous. Cricket fans have smashed the decision to ban Bhajji. They rallied behind the players and joined far-reaching battles to show their support and love. It is not a matter of an individual despotic ban on a player but more a matter of hurting our national sentiment, pride and honor. The support that the Indian team has been receiving only goes on to prove that cricket is more than just a game for Indians!

Now, the flip side of the coin:

“Police strengthened security at the homes of Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble in Bangalore”.
“Furious Indian fans stormed the house of captain Dhoni to protest a five-wicket defeat”.

These headlines get printed in the newspapers quite often.

Why do people take loss in a match too personal? Why do the media turn furious? Indian cricket fan is fanatic. He will go to any extent. Reviewing the anger, one would have imagined that the players had done something outrageous, such as supporting Pakistan or engaging themselves in match fixing. Cricket fans take pains to stay awake all night to think of ways to upset the players if they perform badly. “Aree Sewag..”, They scream at the television set at home, “Come on, you are batting like my sick Naani!” At any cost, people want Team India to win every match they play!

Intellectuals, social scientists and sports writers have tried to find out justifications for India's cricket madness - but none has come up with a satisfactory answer. May be, love for the game is just in our blood...!!

Across the country, once a child learns to stand on his feet, he tries to reproduce Tendulkar’s winning shot in the last match. Every kid dreams of wearing colors for the country – as a child, he lives to become a Dhoni or Yuvraj.

Cricket is for India, what football is for Brazil. Perhaps.. much beyond that!



Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?

Most of us love daydreaming of being someone or something other than what we are. Accomplishments need not always reach the target. That is when one gets disappointed and depressed in life. One after the other, each day in life gets washed out tormenting about things which really doesn’t matter, forgetting to take pleasure in what time has gifted.

While on this side, why does the grass always seem greener on the other side?? Why are we never pleased with what we have? Why do we never feel completely comfortable in our own skin? Just like any other theories of life, even this exists: “The Greener Grass Theory of Life!!”


We live in a very competitive world. Resolutions taken will alter not only his life, but also his entrant’s life. Such decisions have become inevitable in today’s world going by the principle “Survival of the Fittest”. Consequently everyone is compelled to compare his life with others’ and then make the judgment – whether he is content or not!

While living in a dusty apartment in India working for a decent company, one would dream of being in the US or Europe like his friends, having fun with
desi gang, enjoying the weekends there exploring the new country. They dream of earning in dollars or euros. Finally, when his dreams are fulfilled, the priorities keep changing – from repaying his education and home loans to buying the most expensive car.

One day, all his aspirations come true, what he has been longing for in life. Here, a question to ponder up on… Is he happy then? Now he is on this side of the fence which he felt was greener, but... he may just want to get back! There is a conflict between the heart and the brain. He is a confused man today, wondering what step to take further in life.

When back in India, he doesn’t like the undisciplined way of life, he can’t stand untidy roads and leaking drainage. He hates politicians and the atrocities that the news channels keep flashing. However when away from home, seldom he thinks of the darker side. He gets reminded of the monsoon, the path leading to the nearest temple, home cooked food and mom’s love.

So, what is it that really makes one content in life?


Watching a fisherman gaze at the sea waves sitting beside a small boat and folded net, a rich businessman got annoyed.

He approached the fisher man and asked, “Why aren’t you going to the sea? At this time of the day one should be found working”.

Replied the poor man, “I have caught enough fish for the day’s survival. So, I’m not worried.”

“If you work harder, you can have a better living. You can make more money to sit back and enjoy life”, advised the businessman.

"What do you think I'm doing now?" the fisherman replied. There was fulfillment and joy in his eyes.

The fisherman’s reply says it all!!!

A great thinker puts it this way,
"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Not at all; Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."

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